Jim Sheridan | Burlington Real Estate, Billerica Real Estate, Reading Real Estate


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Burglary is one of the more common types of crimes in the US today. Every day, many homeowners wake up or get back from work to discover their homes robbed. Given the financial, psychological, and physical damage that can happen, protecting your home is always ideal. You don’t have to be a victim. Put a security system in place to protect your home.

A range of home security systems are available. Deciding on which one could be a daunting task. To save you time and stress, here are some tips on how to select a security monitoring system for your residence.

Survey your home.

The first thing you need to do is to survey your home and assess its security needs. Start by counting the doors, windows, and other entry points. Check the distance of the doors and windows from where you intend to install the controls. Knowing this is essential as it will help you know the coverage of the wireless system or the length of the wires needed.

Know where to place the controls.

Place the controls somewhere only you will have quick access to. Many people prefer the control pads close to the main door. But that's not a promising idea because others can easily find it. According to security experts, it is best to place the control pads in an area that guests will not have easy access. A good example is your bedroom. 

Consider the people who live with you.

If you intend to go with motion detectors, consider movement in your home during the night. If you have kids or older parents that move around at night or you have pets that pace the house at odd hours, it is highly likely that they might trigger the alarm and cause a disturbance. Triggering the alarm system that alerts the police department may cause them to respond to a false alarm from your home.

Research the Security company.

Reputation is key. Although there are security systems that you can install yourself, working with a licensed and trustworthy security company is an optimal consideration. They will recommend the perfect system for your home and even give you useful tips to protect better protect your home. 

Be sure to ask the following questions;

How long have they been operating?

What services do they offer?

Do they carry out background checks on their employees?

Do they lease or sell their security systems?

Do they offer a warranty?

Finding the perfect home security system is vital because it assures you that your home is well protected. To get more information about the types of home security systems available, and how installing one can help you gain peace of mind, ask your agent for a recommendation for a reputable security service.


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Most everyone would love to gain some extra room, especially those in small homes with limited space options. Here are three home interior DIY projects to help you maximize your space.

1. Transform a Closet into Workspace

If you’re lacking the room for a home office, transform one of your closets into a mini-office. This is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to give yourself a dedicated workspace.

  • Remove the door and hinges.
  • Empty the closet and give it a good wipe down.
  • Disassemble hanging rods.
  • Touch up or repaint the closet’s interior.
  • Add two to three shelves—a deep one to serve as your desktop and additional ones for storage.

If you prefer a traditional desk and your closet is wide enough, slide one in and eliminate the need for a deep shelf.

2. Mount Your TV

Modern styles are all about minimalism and entertainment centers don’t exactly fit this look. Besides, media consoles take up a ton of floor space. An easy way to reclaim this useful space is to mount your TV to the wall or above a fireplace.

  • Choose a mount for your TV—this will be a tilting mount, low-profile mount or full-motion mount.
  • Select a location and determine the best viewing height—be sure you have sufficient outlets and access to cable connections you need.
  • Cut out a piece of TV-sized cardboard or poster board and tape it to the wall to get a “visual” of your TV’s position.
  • Locate a stud and mark it. (If mounting to a fireplace use masonry anchors.)
  • Before you drill, use a level to ensure the wall mount is even.
  • Drill holes, attach your mount and secure it so it doesn’t collapse.
  • Add a cord cover to hide unsightly wiring.

Media consoles were useful before flat-screen TVs became the norm, but most people today can easily get by with a wall-mount and a shelf to hold cable boxes, media players or game consoles. If you need additional storage, add a small table with cabinet space.

3. Build Window Seats

Adding window seats to any room eliminates the need for extra seating on the floor, gives a cozy look and offers additional storage space.

  • Buy two wall cabinets about 30 inches wide by 15 inches high. You can purchase new or, to scale back costs, check secondhand stores, such as Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, for used cabinetry.
  • Use plywood (2x4 or 2x6) to serve as a perimeter base, nailing these pieces of wood into the floor to create a toekick. Be sure your outline’s depth is large enough to hold your cabinets, and leave a little extra room to pull your cabinets away a few inches from the wall beneath the window to save space for your seat.
  • Place cabinets on top of the toekick and clamp the two cabinets together. Be sure your screws are strong enough to hold the units together.
  • Clamp and screw cabinets to the toekick.
  • Place hardwood plywood on top of the cabinets to widen your seating area. (Sand and paint, if necessary.)
  • Add cushions and pillows.

Tip: Be sure to avoid positioning your seat over an HVAC vent or baseboard because you don’t block out your heat or A/C.

If you’re working with some tight spaces, you can better utilize it by transforming your existing space.


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If you're like many busy homeowners, the foyer of your home is sometimes treated as an afterthought. It probably contains functional items such as a coat rack and a place to put shoes, but it may lack the aesthetics necessary to provide an inviting introduction to your home. Fortunately, strategies exist designed to make the most of any foyer. Here are five to help you get started.

Wall Art

Wall art personalizes a foyer and makes it seem part of the home rather than simply being a transition area between the outdoors and the home interior. Paintings are a good choice, especially if you're able to position them in a way that makes them a focal point of the foyer. However, paintings aren't the only option — a gorgeous fabric wall hanging or a creative piece of metal art designed to be displayed on a wall will also work.

Warm Lighting

While it's important to have good ambient overhead lighting in your foyer for the sake of optimal visibility, secondary lighting provides a warm accent that welcomes both household residents and guests in the home. An attractive lamp on a table is a nice touch, but if your foyer doesn't have the room, consider installing a couple of wall lights.

Greenery

Adding a plant or two brings life to any foyer. If you feel you don't have enough natural light in your foyer to coax anything green to grow, keep in mind that houseplants such as Peace Lilies and Snake Plants thrive in environments with very little light. If you're lucky enough to have a foyer with a skylight, take advantage of this by hanging some beautiful Boston ferns. Have pets? Be sure to check that your plant of choice isn't poisonous to them.

A Small Seating Area

A small seating area in the foyer can function as a private reading nook, a place to remove or put on outer footwear during times of inclement weather, or simply a place to sit and relax for a moment or two after coming home from a long day at work. Even the smallest foyers can usually accommodate a single chair and a pint-sized table.

Scent

Aromatic pine cones in a basket, a scented diffuser discreetly placed on a table, or a plug-in air freshener in a warm, welcoming scent such as vanilla, cinnamon, or lavender provide a pleasant accent for those just walking in the door. Scented candles are an especially nice touch in the foyer on evenings when you're expecting guests.

If you've recently decided to put your home on the market, creating a welcoming entryway is more important than ever. Please feel free to reach out at your earliest convenience for more information on making the most of your home environment.


Children are adorable creatures, but sometimes they may make you hit the ceiling. Like when? Well, like when they use a crayon to draw caricatures of Sponge Bob on your wall. In such situations, it's important to keep a cool head. There is no need for yelling or spanking anyone; there are ways to remove crayons from walls easily. Before you use any method on this post, make sure your test is on a small area of the wall to make sure it won't spoil your wall or paint. Here are a few of them: 

Toothpaste 

Wait a minute... toothpaste? Yes, you read it correctly, toothpaste is not only for cleaning teeth or clearing acne. Toothpaste can be used to wipe away crayon marks from your wall. All you need to do is to squirt a non-gel toothpaste onto the wall and scrub it off with a brush. Wondering how this works? Well, toothpaste contains abrasives that will tackle the crayon marks as you scrub with the brush. This method is rigorous but effective if you don’t mind scrubbing.

Baking Soda 

Yes, the good old baking soda can get rid of the alphabets your kids wrote with crayon on your wall. For this procedure, get a damp cloth, dip it into a small amount of baking soda. Next, use the dampened washcloth to scrub the crayon marks on the wall gently. This method is effective and doesn't require too much scrubbing. 

WD-40 

This method works like magic. All you need is to get a can of WD-40, shake it properly and spray it on to the crayon doodles and leave it for some few minutes, preferably 5-7 minutes. Next, grab a clean rag and gently wipe off WD-40 off your wall and the crayon marks will wipe away with it.

Vinegar 

Vinegar is not only useful for cleaning the toilet, But It also works wonders too in removing crayon marks from walls. Get a toothbrush, dip it in vinegar and gently scrub off the crayon marks and wipe it clean with a microfiber cloth.

Water and Soap Combo 

This method is simple and effective. You'll need is a sponge and a bowl of hot water mixed with liquid. Plunge the sponge into the mixture and scrub off the crayon marks with it. So, if you have children who use your wall as their coloring book, no need to fret, just apply any of these methods.


Many homes, new and old, do not have a ton of storage. More modern open floor plan spaces leave a great blank canvas for you to work with, but require you to bring in your own shelving, hutch, dressers, etc. If you're looking for additional storage options in your home and are either working with a smaller space, or desire to keep your area open and free of heavy furniture, consider what vertical storage solutions might work for your home.

Shelving

Take a look at your space and think about what shelving additions might help you. Installing a shelf up high around the ceiling of a room might give you great space for displaying home décor and knick-knacks without cluttering up coffee tables and nightstands. A narrow floor-to-ceiling bookshelf creates a ton of space in an office or living room without taking away your floor space.

Built-in Furniture Storage

When purchasing new furniture pieces for your home look for opportunities to use these pieces as storage solutions. A bed with drawers underneath or built-in headboard shelving and coffee tables with shelves, drawers or hidden compartments are easy to find in different styles and prices. Hollow ottomans are wonderful for housing blankets and other linens. Try office solutions with desks that mount on the wall and have built-in drawers and shelving. 

Hooks

Hooks are affordable, easy to install and can be used in a variety of places throughout your home to create storage. If you are dealing with a small closet or don't have a coat closet in your entryway, you can install hooks on the back of your closet or bedroom door. Try installing hooks or a combination shelf with hooks piece in your entryway or your bedroom for coats and purses. Small hooks placed on a wall or attached to a decorative board can replace the need for a vanity or large jewelry armoire. Use a combination of hooks and nails to hang all your tools and reduce space (and cost) used by a large toolbox.

Not all solutions are beautiful and fit seamlessly with your décor, but if you're in a pinch, there are some quick and affordable things you can do. Hang a plastic shoe-rack on your closet or bedroom door. Hang towel and bath-robe hooks on the back of your bathroom door. Install basic wire racks and drawers in your laundry room, above your machines, to use the vertical space instead of using floor bins and baskets. Whatever your space there is an upright storage solution for you, from pre-fab pieces you can buy to DIY solutions you can put together next weekend. 

 If you're starting your home search and built-in storage is a feature you'd like, speak with your real estate professional before you start house hunting. Work together to find a home with the features you desire, or to find a space that allows for seemingly built-in storage solutions to add before you move in.




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